STRONG REVENUE AND PROFITS GROWTH IN Q1 2021 VS.
Q1 2020 Q1 DELIVERY ALSO SUBSTANTIALLY ABOVE Q1 2019
VEOLIA HAS RECOVERED ITS PRE-CRISIS GROWTH RHYTHM AND THE OPERATING LEVERAGE ON ITS RESULTS GUIDANCE 2021 FULLY CONFIRMED
ON APRIL 11TH , VEOLIA HAS SIGNED A COMBINATION AGREEMENT WITH SUEZ ENABLING THE CREATION OF THE WORLD CHAMPION OF THE ECOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION
Q1 2021 REVENUE OF €6 807M UP +4% 1 vs. Q1 2020 AND UP +2.8% 1
COMPARED TO Q1 2019
Q1 2021 EBITDA OF €1 078M, A STRONG INCREASE OF +13.6% 1 vs. Q1 2020,
AND OF +7.5% 1 vs. Q1 2019
CURRENT EBIT OF €469M, A HIGH GROWTH OF +22.7% 1
CURRENT NET INCOME GROUP SHARE OF €188M, UP +59.8% 1
1 Variation at constant exchange rates
Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s Chairman & CEO commented:
As we had committed to, our performance is substantially above 2019: Veolia is off to a flying start in 2021! In a global context that remains difficult, Veolia has announced an outstanding pace of growth of both revenue and profits, notably thanks to our diversified client mix, our treatment solutions for new pollutants and our international footprint. Moreover, our strict cost control has enabled us to recover a strong operating leverage and to register an EBITDA growth of more than 13% compared to Q1 2020 and of 7.5% versus Q1 2019. We are therefore ahead of our 2021 objectives and I can confirm that 2021 will be a very good year in terms of growth and profits. This excellent performance comes at a historical moment for our Group. On April 11th, we signed an agreement to purchase Suez Group and to create the undisputed world champion of ecological transformation. This combination, which should be finalized by the end of the year, opens up great development prospects at a time when environmental priorities have never been higher on the agenda.
Revenue of €6 807M compared to €6 675M in Q1 2020, an increase of +2.0% at current exchange rates, of +4.0% at constant exchange rates and of +3.0% at constant scope and exchange rates.
Revenue grew in the 1st quarter at a sustained rhythm thanks to a good commercial momentum, with contruction activity slightly below 2020, commercial and industrial waste volumes still penalized by continued sanitary crisis and well oriented service prices (price effect of +€61M, i.e. +0.9% impact on revenue growth).
Increased recycled material prices (+€80M) mainly due to higher paper prices after the strong decrease registered early 2020 and higher energy prices (+€29 M) have contributed to a +1.6% increase of revenue.
Weather had a favorable impact of +€67M.
Exchange rates variations unfavorably impacted Q1 revenue by -€132M (-2%), mostly from Latin American currencies (-€33M), US dollar (-€42M) and Central and Eastern European currencies for -34 M€.
Scope effect was positive (+€65M), mainly coming from acquisitions in Central and Eastern Europe partially offset by the divestiture of Sade Telecom in France.
Revenue is also up compared to Q1 2019, by +2,8% at constant forex.
By geography and at constant forex, the evolution is as follows:
In France, revenue increased by 5.7%. Water revenue was up 0.8%. Volumes increased by +1.2% and tariffs by +0.7%. These good trends were partially offset by the end of the wastewater contract in Toulouse. Waste activity rebounded sharply, by +11.2% vs. Q1 2020, but also by +7.2% vs. Q1 2019, with volumes up 1.6% and prices progressing at the same pace thanks to strict pricing discipline. These good trends were amplified by the growth of recycled material prices.
Europe excluding France grew strongly, by +9.0%. Central and Eastern Europe registered a very strong revenue increase, of +23.5%, including +32% in Energy due to higher prices, good volumes boosted by favorable weather and the integration of new assets in Prague and in Budapest. Water was down by 3% mostly due to lower volumes (-2%) penalized by lower tourism. UK and Ireland exhibited a 6.2% revenue decline, with continued low C&I waste volumes due to lockdown. PFI performed very well with a 95% availability rate. Northern Europe revenue progressed by 5.0% thanks to good performances in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries. Southern Europe activity was sharply up (10%) thanks to the recovery of industrial services.
Rest of the World revenue came out slightly up (+0.6%) but +5.9% compared to Q1 2019, restated from the divestiture of our heating activities in the US. Asia progressed by 3.4% driven by China, up 12%. North America revenue decreased by 2.9% mainly due to adverse weather in Texas. Latin America grew by 7.4%, thanks to tariff increases. Pacific was down by 5.8% with lower C&I waste volumes. Africa Middle East grew by +1.6%.
Global businesses revenue increased by 1.7%. Hazardous waste recovered growth (+1.9%) thanks to pricing discipline. Veolia Water Technologies grew by 2.1% and SADE was stable excluding the divestiture of its Telecom activities.
By business, at constant exchange rates : Water revenue was stable (-0,1%). Waste progressed by 3.4%, with continued lower volumes (-0,9%) but good pricing, up 1.7% and the favorable impact of recycled material prices (+3,2%). Energy grew sharply (+7.7%) thanks to higher prices and favorable weather.
EBITDA of €1 078M vs. €970M in Q1 2020, an increase of +11.2% at current exchange rates, of +13.6% at constant exchange rates and of +8.7% at constant scope and exchange rates.
- Scope effect was favorable by €48M (Central European assets). Forex was negative by €23M.
- EBITDA growth resulted from increased service pricing, favorable weather (+€23M), higher recycled material prices (+€16M) and efficiency gains (+€92M) more than offsetting price cost squeeze of -€52M.
Current EBIT of €469M compared to €392M in Q1 2020, an increase of +19.6% at current exchange rates and of +22.7% at constant exchange rates.
Exchange rates variations unfavorably impacted EBIT by €12M.
Current EBIT progressed sharply due to strong EBITDA growth. Depreciation and amortization (including operating financial assets reinbursements) were almost stable at €528M. Provisions, Fair value adjustments and other (including industrial capital gains) were substantially down, to -€27M vs. +€3M in Q1 2020. Current net income from joint ventures and associates was €11M.
Strong growth of current net income Group share, to €188M, an increase of +59.8% and of +64% excluding financial capital gains.
Cost of financing is significantly down, to -€86M compared to -€112M in Q1 2020, thanks to favorable financing conditions and a higher cash remuneration. Capital gains reached €2M vs. €4M in Q1 2020.
Current tax rate was 27%.
Net financial debt stood at €13 509M at 31 March 2021, compared to €13 217M at 31 December 2020.
Net financial debt benefitted from capex discipline, down by 7% to €426M, and from the strict control of Working Capital seasonal variation, improved by €314M, from -€794M in Q1 2020 to -€480M in Q1 2021, thanks to stricter discipline in terms of cash collection.
2021 Prospects* (before Suez integration) fully confirmed
Despite continued impact of sanitary crisis in the beginning of the year, Veolia will more than offset 2020 and deliver strong results growth in 2021
- Revenue above 2019
- €350M of efficiency gains : €250M recurring efficiencies and €100M of complementary savings from the Recover & Adapt plan
- EBITDA above €4bn, a growth of more than 10% vs. 2020
- Net financial debt below €12bn at the end of 2021 and a leverage ratio below 3 times
- Objective to recover the pre-crisis dividend policy in 2021
* at constant forex
On April 11th 2021, Veolia and Suez have concluded a combination agreement by which Veolia will launch a Tender Offer on Suez Group at €20.5 per share coupon included, in order to create the world champion of the ecological transformation.
This transaction carries out a very ambitious project. By combining the very solid Suez and Veolia competencies, this transaction will significantly accelerate the developement of the new entity facing growing competition, and enable the sector in France, in Europe and worldwide to tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century.
Veolia will integrate the majority of Suez activities outside France and will in particular reinforce its geographical footprint in Spain, the US, Latin America, Australia and the UK.
The new Group will generate an annual revenue of €37bn, with 230 000 employees.
This transaction will create value as from 2022 for Veolia shareholders thanks to €500 million of purchasing and operational synergies and will increase Current net income per share (including hybrid cost and before PPA) by 40 % in 2024.
On May 14th, the signing of a final agreement between the Boards of Veolia and Suez will open a new phase of the transaction including two parts:
- Obtaining the clearance of the anti trust authorities
- The finalization of the Tender Offer in order to acquire the remaining 70.1% of the capital of Suez
Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them.
In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020. www.veolia.com
As the changes in the health crisis are difficult to estimate, we draw your attention to the “forward-looking statements” that may appear in this press release and relating to the consequences of this crisis which may affect the future performance of the Company.
Veolia Environnement is a corporation listed on the Euronext Paris. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control, including but not limited to: the risk of suffering reduced profits or losses as a result of intense competition, the risk that changes in energy prices and taxes may reduce Veolia Environnement’s profits, the risk that governmental authorities could terminate or modify some of Veolia Environnement’s contracts, the risk that acquisitions may not provide the benefits that Veolia Environnement hopes to achieve, the risks related to customary provisions of divesture transactions, the risk that Veolia Environnement’s compliance with environmental laws may become more costly in the future, the risk that currency exchange rate fluctuations may negatively affect Veolia Environnement’s financial results and the price of its shares, the risk that Veolia Environnement may incur environmental liability in connection with its past, present and future operations, as well as the other risks described in the documents Veolia Environnement has filed with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers (French securities regulator). Veolia Environnement does not undertake, nor does it have, any obligation to provide updates or to revise any forward looking statements. Investors and security holders may obtain from Veolia Environnement a free copy of documents it filed (www.veolia.com) with the Autorités des Marchés Financiers.
This document contains "non‐GAAP financial measures". These "non‐GAAP financial measures" might be defined differently from similar financial measures made public by other groups and should not replace GAAP financial measures prepared pursuant to IFRS standards.
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